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Thursday, April 30, 2015

Mistakes Were Made

We all grow into the things we come to believe.  What we believe is the result of the journey of our mind throughout our life, from just after inception to where we are now.  And the things we believe, and how we think about those things, are entwined with our experiences in the world, experiences that start even in the womb. 


While the brain, the substrate of our mind and its beliefs, does not start out unformed, it does start out extraordinarily plastic and malleable. This is necessary, because it must quickly adapt to one or another of the enormous variety of possible human cultures it might be born into.  This adaptation consists of countless changes, many irreversible, to the very structure and functionality of the brain.  Some of these changes are independent of culture, and, indeed are common to all development. Other changes are specific to each person's culture and parenting.


There is naturally variation, even among those changes in the brain which are most general and independent of culture. Each brain is unique in the detail of its original formation, is unique in its earliest development before it gains experience through interacting with the world, and unique in its interaction with that world.  And the face of the world in which each brain, each mind, finds itself, is unique to that mind. 


And it is during this process of development that the mind decides for itself what is true and real, and what is false, based on its experience, and based on what it already knows.


However, there are two possible sources of mistakes. In fact, mistakes originating from these sources are inevitable, and even necessary, and, for the full development of the mind, must be overcome later in life. 


The first of these mistakes originates from the process of mental development itself.  In particular, at the beginnings of development, the mind makes observations, and makes decisions on these observations, without reference to any external world.  In fact, in the beginning, the mind is not aware that any such world exists, or even that it has an ‘exterior,’ until its sensory apparatus begin to be conditioned by that world, and through that apparatus, the brain itself. 


Caution should be used here with the idea of awareness. It is certainly not like the awareness we each now have, one which has been conditioned by our experiences in the world.  It is an awareness which matures, continuously and gradually, but also goes through distinct stages, which are neither continuous nor gradual. The change from each earlier stage to the next one may be regarded as a decision, based on conclusions reached by the mind in its earlier stage.  However, in this new, more ‘developed’ stage, the mind does not reason the same way the mind did in its earlier, more ‘primitive’ stage.  Thus, the reasons for any decision, and the decision itself, are forgotten.  (This process is reflected in the intellectual processes of the mature mind.  When a decision, or a conclusion is reached, often the assumptions and rationale and even the evidence that went into reaching that decision are forgotten.  The conclusion becomes the basis for further rationality, and behavior, that is, the conclusion becomes an assumption. Consider, for instance, how much you remember about when and why you first decided how you were going to walk for the rest of your life. Or the earlier decision, of how your voice was going to sound.  Or the later one, of how you were going to dress.


The reason this process results in mistakes is because the brain, the mind, at these earlier stages of development, is perfectly rational.  The decisions it makes, which alter the way it processes information, are the correct ones needed for its further development.  This implies that these earlier, more primitive ways of processing information have their domain of validity. They are based on the evidence as perceived and interpreted by the undeveloped brain. However, the more developed mind of the later stages rejects these processes as having any validity at all, because it does not remember the occasions when it was valid.  This is a mistake.  Actually, it’s the same mistake repeated at least several times, though with differing consequences, since each causes a different alteration, and in general, actually, a different restriction, on the brain’s ability to process information.   


We will go into two particular aspects of these mistakes.  The first considers the role of emotion in cognition.  Only in the fully mature brain does rational thought seem to completely  separate from emotion, though emotion may still provide motivation.  However, in the earlier stages of development, emotional and intellectual processes were more thoroughly entwined, and in the most primitive states inseparable.  This implies that certain understandings of the early brain are not reachable by intellect alone. In particular, the facts known to that brain, and the processes available to manipulate those facts, are inaccessible without engaging the relevant emotions.  This is not to say these facts and processes cannot be represented in the brain with out involving the emotions.  But it is to claim that the meaning of these facts cannot be appreciated, and their proper processing cannot be accomplished.  One can claim that these more primitively understood facts and processes are not relevant to the larger world.  I personally believe any claim to justify ignorance, such as this one, needs to be substantiated.


The second particular aspect we will go into is the role of logic in the functioning of the mind.  We give the Three Laws of Logic pride of place in our intellectual pantheon, and in the rationalities of our daily lives,  and do not often appreciate their limitations.  Part of this, of course, is that we often ignore them in our daily lives, for the reasons that the assumptions under which we live those lives generally do not bear close scrutiny.  Yet, rather than examining those assumptions, we pretend to logic, with the result that our thought and behavior is often incoherent.  How these inconsistent assumptions are formed, and some of the consequences of their inconsistency, will be looked at more carefully in the next part.


In the early, pre-intellectual stages of development of the brain, the brain had an apperception of the entirety of its experience, that is, of its entire world.

In the realm of the intellect, logic is both necessary and limiting.  Each branch of mathematics is developed, according to the rules of (some form of) logic, from a set of consistent assumptions.  These assumptions are different for each branch of mathematics. Each branch of mathematics is, in at least an informal sort of way, complete, in itself.  Generally, different sets of assumptions are not consistent with each other, but by moving between different sets of assumptions, we can move between the different branches of mathematics.  Now we use mathematics to describe the world, but of necessity, we use many different branches.  This would imply that the universe cannot be described using one, or any, consistent set of assumptions.  Thus, if we insist that the universe must be consistent, we can never come to an understanding of it.  Each branch of mathematics, as it were, provides a different perspective on reality, a perspective which is complete in itself, and to come to an understanding of the whole, we must transcend the limitations of logic.  However, this cannot be done if we are restricted to intellect. We can only understand each part at any time.  For our intellect to deal with any other part, it must relinquish its grasp on the first.


In the next part we will examine the necessary mistakes the world imposes upon the developing mind.  Some are general and culturally independent. Others vary according to culture and parentage.

8:27 pm est

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Finding God

There is God, as God really is.  And then there are the billions of images that each of the billions of people in the world have of God.  Since each of those people is God, each of those images is a reflection of God. And each reflection is a true and faithful representation of God.   Each image is an image of God as God really is.  But though they are each true, they are each contingent images, each image contingent on the experience of the particular individual.


Each individual’s image of God comes from the mind of that individual, formed by the experience of that individual, and ultimately from his deepest unconscious.   Each image is a simplified image, of course.  And, since the mind is experienced in only the limited dimensions of the world, and since God, and even the world itself as the world really is, which is God, are in greater dimensions, the image of God in the mind is a simplified image of God, in reduced dimensions. 


However, the unconscious is the individual’s inner self.  So, each of those images of God is an image of the individual’s own inner self.  Each individual is what they imagine their God to be. They are conscious agents of their God, who is their inner self.


Now the God of their imagination has two images in their mind, which are reflected one behind the other. One is the conscious image of God, the image of God the individual describes and professes.  Behind this image is the other, their unconscious image of God.*  It is this unconscious image of God which defines the actions of the individual. It also shapes and limits the conscious image of God, and the conscious mind itself.  In particular, it limits the ability of the conscious mind reflect upon and examine the unconscious image itself.


The unconscious image of God is a higher dimensional image of God than the conscious image.  One reason is that the unconscious image is not limited by the constraints of logic that tend to restrict the thinking of the conscious mind. Because of this, the conscious image of God will tend to be, in some sense, logically consistent. The unconscious image of God, however, need not be, and indeed, cannot be logically consistent.


The desire for logical consistency by the conscious mind may indeed usually be the most important barrier between the conscious mind and the unconscious mind.  However, it is not the only barrier, and like the others, it can be overcome.   Indeed, in some ways consistency is often one of the easiest barriers to the understanding of the self and God to overcome.  The other barriers are tied in with the individual’s emotional experiences.  Of these barriers, early barriers to understanding will be contingent on the individual’s earliest experiences in the world.  For some individuals, some of these barriers may indeed be the most difficult.  The later barriers to the understanding of the self and God are essential barriers, common to all men.**  They arise in the experiences of the mind during its earliest development, before it interacts with the outer world.


Now the conscious image of God need not be consistent with the unconscious image, and indeed, most likely will not be.  When this is the case the individual’s actions will not consistent with their speech.  The individual will say one thing, and do another.  However, this does not mean the individual will perceive his actions to be inconsistent.  In fact, the individual’s actions will likely be justified in terms of what he says, no matter how inconsistent they may seem to others.  Indeed, the greater inconsistency will be more vigorously defended, since the greater the inconsistency, the deeper it must be based in the emotional unconscious to be maintained.  Reason and self reflection must be more strongly blocked, because the link which justifies action with word is not rational, but ‘sub-rational.’ The very structure of his thought will be a reflection of what he unconsciously believes God to be.  That is, his thought will be a reflection of his unconscious image of God. 


His actions, then, not only reflect what he unconsciously believes God to be, but are a realization of what he unconsciously believes God to be.  He is not merely an agent of God, but he is his God acting.  Or, more precisely, he is his unconscious image of God, acting, for that is what he believes his God to truly be. And in this he is correct.  But, his unconscious image of God consists of many contingent features of God. These contingent features overlay the deeper, essential features of God, which are those features which are defined by those experiences which are shared by, which are common to, all men.  These contingent features, or characteristics of God, are peculiar to the individual and the details of his growth and psychological development in the world.  They are thus peculiar to his experiences in the world. They are features defined by his experience of his earliest upbringing.  These features are defined by his experiences with his family, and his culture. These contingent features, these characters, develop into the religion and the values he comes to espouse.  Since the individual does not remember many of these experiences, the features of his image of God defined by these experiences remain unconscious, and they are anchored by emotion in the unconscious.  They are the characteristics of his conscious thinking and personality. 


Contradictions laid at this level, combined with later experiences, can result in any of a great variety of life trajectories.  No two persons’ experiences of development in the world are identical, and neither are any of the lives that result. No two persons’ contingent experiences are the same. No two persons’ images of God are identical.  Indeed, even among essential experiences, there is some variation, and so some variation in result.  Thus, there is even variation between essential images of God, although the deeper we go, the more alike the experiences become, the more universal the perceived characteristics of God.     


The deeper into the unconscious we go, the deeper into God’s essential self we go, and the less we are subject to contingent images of God, which are those reflected in the conscious and shallower unconscious mind of the individual.  In a sense, essential features of God are beneath the contingent features of God.  These essential features of God are those defined by the experiences of the mind before it interacts with the world.  Some contingent features may also be defined at this time.  Some essential features are also defined while the mind first interacts with the world, but before the mind is aware that it is interacting with the world.  And some contingent features are also defined by experiences at this stage of development.


So what are the barriers to the understanding of the self, and God? 


As the mind develops, it realizes truths, truths about itself, and truths about its world.  Each of these truths is an experience, a profound experience freighted with intense emotion.  Each truth must be experienced in the development of the mind, and then suppressed, so the mind can continue on to the next phase of its development.  Each truth must be experienced.  The mind then makes the decision to move on, the decision itself forgotten.


Each of these truths, each of these- emotional experiences, is both a barrier, and the overcoming of that barrier.  And to overcome the last barrier is to know God, and to know the self, as It truly is.  


I think it’s It.  It’s been a while, and I’ve forgotten.


*This description is of course, not literal.  A different analogy might be described more in terms of differentially habituated networks, the deeper networks requiring increasing degrees of emotional involvement to activate. The appearance from above is not the appearance from below.

**My current thinking is that the only difference between the essential experiences of men and women, and thus that their essential experiences are otherwise identical, is that men are alone in the void, while women experience the void within. However, there still remains the later, sexually differentiated development of the brain, and thus the mind.  Although there is significant overlap in the distributions of mental physiology and psychology between the sexes, the means and variations of the distributions are, in certain ways, different.   

9:33 pm est

Friday, February 27, 2015


Why is the world so obdurate?  Why is it so hard to effect change?


6 years ago, we discussed the reason why an omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent God might choose to be less so.  http://www.truthabouttheone.com/2009.05.01_arch.html  Here we will discuss the problem from a more- human view.


The conclusion is that we act and believe that we want a world of substance, and the more we can control reality, the less substantial, and the less satisfying, it becomes. 


We hunger for substance.  We hunger for the ‘real,’ the ‘authentic,’ the ‘genuine.’  We work harder, and are willing to pay more, for something we believe is an ‘original,’ and not a copy, something ‘hand-made,’ and not off some assembly line.  We think the ‘authentic’ has more substance.


We observe that we each start with a body. (Some would say as a body.) Our minds come encased, or perhaps entwined is a better way to put it, in a body which comes with some serious limitations in space and time. Not only that, the body comes with needs which must be fulfilled, some periodically, some daily, some moment to moment.  These demands of the body require the individual to act in certain ways in the world.  


Because the body seems so small, and the world so big, the world does not seem very responsive to its actions.  Look how hard it is to do anything, especially some comparatively large and complicated project, building a house, say:  Plans must first be made, the resistances of the world, the problems it offers, anticipated.  Then material must be gathered.  It must be worked.  It must be placed.  It must be assembled, to yield the final result.  Each step takes time and effort.  Each step must overcome the opposition of reality.


Indeed, the more difficult it is to get things done, the more obdurate the world seems, the more real it seems to be.  The same goes for the other people in the world:  The more one controls them, the less substantial they become.  The more independent they seem to be, the more real they seem. 


But this is not enough.  We also think things, we believe things that make the world seem more ‘real,’ more ‘substantial.’ 


Most believe they are not God. Of these, some believe that there is no God, and that the world is totally obdurate: That only by actual physical intervention, by physical action, can it be altered, and that the mind, that belief, of itself, can have no effect on it.  In a recent survey, 4/5ths of philosophers, for instance, believe in some form of ‘non-skeptical realism,’ basically, that the world is as REAL as it can be.  Most philosophers also believe in some form of determinism, which is as rigid a universe as you can get. All freedoms, all choices are, to them, to some degree, illusory.


There has been some criticism of philosophers, lately, as being somewhat conformist and narrow in their thinking.  They should be clawing at the edges on known reality, trying to find out what is behind the illusion.  Pacing back and forth, trying to figure out the nature of their cage and its philosophical implications.  But this, of course, would call into question the reality of their world.


So what about the religious?  They believe in a God, and often their God can do anything, which would seem to detract from the substance and reality of the believer’s world.  But do they not make their God as great and powerful as possible, even impossibly so?  Does not this aggrandizement of their God make them relatively small and powerless in His world?  And often He is an authoritarian God, who commands obedience to often arbitrary and rigid rules, with draconian punishments.  Clearly this sort of behavior from their divine ‘Master’ lends weight and consequence to the worshipper’s actions, and makes their world seem more ‘real’ to them.


And then there are the Ignorant.   One can be highly skilled and knowledgeable in a narrow space, yet ignorant of the principles of the wider world beyond. Since such ignorance makes it more difficult to operate effectively in that wider world, this adds to its substance.


This thesis has interesting social and political implications. The richer the rich become, the easier it is for them to do things, particularly things close to themselves, like build ever larger and more houses for themselves, and immerse themselves ever deeper in ever greater luxury.  They want more, and they get more of what they want.  But does this satisfy them?  We should expect not, because the more money, the more power they accumulate, the less real, and the less satisfying, their world becomes to them. They become increasingly isolated from the consequences of their acts. Further, the more power they have over other people, the less ‘real’ these people would become.  The rich would become increasingly lonely and alienated.  They would become increasingly lonely and alienated, and indeed increasingly isolated from the wider world. And indeed in the wider world, as the people in it become less substantial, the wealthy feel is less moral weight against treating the world, and the people in it, badly.  


We might expect the wealthy to use their power to undo this, that is, that they would act to relinquish at least some of their power, to make their experience of their world more satisfying to themselves. 


But they are in denial.  They must act to reduce their power, but because they are in denial, because they must deny that the problem is they have too much power, they must seem to themselves that they are augmenting their power, at the same time they are in reality destroying it.  Thus we would expect their accumulation of wealth to be increasingly through the manipulation of the economy, rather than through the actual improving of it: To exploit and undermine the economy, rather than investing in it. 


Of course, progress itself presents an interesting conundrum.  As the members of a society become more wealthy, the more they are able to effect and control their immediate environment. Yet as society becomes more complicated, the less the members of that society become are able to effectively manipulate it. That which they are able to control becomes more immediate, while beyond that the greater world increasingly escapes their powers. But rather than becoming more real, that greater world becomes less real, as it increasingly escapes their attention. 


The more we can manipulate the world, the less substantial it appears.  Of course, there is a happy medium.  A person wants some control, at least enough to gratify one’s needs and least the most important of one’s desires.  To be absolutely powerless is also horrible: Too much reality.

10:37 pm est

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Infinity and God

Infinity and God.


Let’s start with infinity.  Aside from being, ah, large, it has many other properties. Infinity plus any number is infinity.  Infinity times any number is infinity. And so forth.  These are just mathematical properties.  But granted infinity is some sort of ‘number,’ is it something more?  Can we even say, with certainty, it is ‘just’ some sort of number, some sort of mathematical object, and nothing more?      


Do we know all the properties of infinity?  Well, we can define it, limit it in such a way that we might think we know all its properties. We could make it merely a limited, mental construct.  But is there such a thing as an objective infinity, in the real world?  Or is such an infinity limited to the ideal, mathematical realm?  


So do we know all the properties of infinity? 


Let us suppose we don’t.  Clearly infinity can contain many complex structures. Is there a limit to the complexity of structures infinity can contain?  Suppose not.  (Is there a demonstration to the contrary, or would this depend on a definition limiting its properties?)  Suppose then, it can contain a structure as complex as the entire real world, that is, the universe.  Indeed, let us suppose the universe is a manifestation of infinity.  The universe would be a property of infinity.*


What else might be a property of infinity?  God.  God might be a property of infinity.

God, as God really is, could be a property of infinity.  Let’s restate this claim.


Infinity has many properties:  One of these properties is God (as God really is.)


 Let’s now look at the Atheist’s contrary claim:  God (as God really is,) does not exist.


What does this claim require, as prior claims?  Well, it claims God is not a property of infinity.  To a first approximation, the claimant is also claiming:  I know all the properties of infinity, and God (as God really is) is not one of them.  But this requires either of the prior chains of claims:  There are only a finite number of properties to infinity, I know them all, and none of them are God. Or: Infinity has infinite properties, but all the infinite properties of infinity may be classified into a finite number of ‘qualities,’ and I know all these qualities, and none of them allow for God.   


So which claim is the more likely?  The Theist’s claim, that God (as God really is) is merely one of infinity’s myriad properties, or the Atheist’s claim, that, of infinity’s myriad properties, not one of those properties is God (as God really is.)


Of course, most Theists make a stronger claim.  They claim that God, as they imagine Him to be, exists and is God as He really is.


What we do know is that infinity contains all our ideations, all the concatenations of symbols that represent our thoughts, and not all these ideations are made manifest.


The close observer might note that what we have done is dressed up the ‘argument from ignorance:’ We are so ignorant (of the properties of infinity) that God (as God really is) might exist. 



Now the refutation of the existence of God from knowledge that is often actually given is somewhat different from those given above.  That claim is that we know enough of physical reality** that there is effectively no room for God (as He is imagined to be.)  But this is based on a further claim that is probably false.  This claim is that ‘God as He is imagined to be’ is ‘God as God really is.’  One of the (usual) particulars of God as He is imagined to be is that He is separate from physical reality:  That physical reality is not God.  There is no evident basis for this claim.


So that is the argument.  Assuming infinity, the infinitely large and complicated, we conclude God, as a property of infinity.  Infinity is enough to contain everything, including all finite concatenations of symbols, which is what our thought and experience consists of. Most concatenations are nonsense, most of the rest cannot be made manifest in reality.  Reality would seem to require a very particular underlying basis, since it seems so much cannot be made real.  But maybe this is just appearance.  


Our claim then: God, as God really is, fulfills this particular underlying basis.  Indeed, God is also this underlying basis.  We might rephrase this:  God is mathematics, and the universe is not ‘extra-mathematical,’ but mathematics also.


*Oddly enough, the idea that the universe is somehow ‘extra-mathematical,’ although mathematics describes it, is based on an ‘argument from ignorance:’   We don’t know of any mathematical mechanism that makes number manifest into reality, so therefore it’s something else. Of course, this leaves the problem of manifestation without any approach whatsoever.  


**In particular, that we know enough about atoms, and how they interact with each other, that there is no room for ‘other’ physics, which a manifest God who was not ‘physical reality’ would be. Indeed, Quantum Mechanics, the physics of atoms and their interactions, gives some of the most exact answers to its problems in all of science.  What are still open to debate, however, is its ‘why,’ and how to interpret many of its implications.


11:26 pm est

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Fear and the Misrepresentation of God.

God wants relief from His eternal solitude.  A universe of inferiors does not cut it.  God is aware enough, and sensitive enough, that to be lord of a world of fawners and sycophants would still be, to Him, alone. 

Yet fawners and sycophants are what those who claim to be His spokespersons say He wants.  Indeed, they assume their position by claiming to be the greatest fawners, and the sincerest sycophants. They say God is mysterious and unknowable, yet they claim to have dispelled the mystery and know what He wants from mankind: worship and adoration.  The mystery is at once affirmed and denied, the contradiction unmentioned.

God wants equals.  But to be an equal to God, you must be God, for nothing else is equal to God.  This would be impossible, except it is already true.  It is not a matter of becoming God, but a matter of becoming aware that you are already God. God is alone, but we His faces have each other.

And so it is for those who claim to be His priests and ministers. Just as everyone else, they are already God, but just as everyone else, they repress this truth.  They repress this truth because they are terrified of it. And this truth is indeed awful when it is admitted to the intellect, but more so when it is admitted to the emotions, and acquires its true weight of horror.

Still, the truth of God’s eternal solitude is denied by the priests and ministers even in an intellectual sense. The very idea is denied, glossed over, or excused, because the mere idea of God’s solitude is a threat to them, and their preaching.  For if God is alone, and all that they say he is, how can He want what they say He wants? A being who only wants sycophants, worshipers, is defective, not perfect. He is insecure and threatened. And how can an omnipotent being feel threatened?  No.  Something else is going on in the minds of the priests and ministers who preach this. No reasonably intelligent God in His right mind would want what Theists claim He wants. 

But not only are the Theists terrified of this truth, but they are invested in the lie. And the lie provides them with many things they desire: Most importantly a God to worship, yes, a being to stand between them and the horror of solitude. But the lie also provides them with a community, to take away loneliness, and power over its members, and thus to feel the superiority over the members of their community they imagine their God feels over them.

And the priests exercise much of this power with fear, the fear of the God they worship. Their people are led to fear the punishment due to His wrath, and the withdrawal of His favor and affection. But also their people are led to fear the anger and withdrawal of affection of the other members of the community. For even as the priest has made himself subject to his image of God, his community has made itself subject to the priest, and he can turn the weight of the community against those who may oppose him, both within and without the community.

And with this comes a freedom, a freedom to do evil, with absolution of responsibility for evil actions performed in his god’s name.

It is obvious that God is alone.  Fear of this awareness corrupts thinking at a very fundamental level, hindering the progress of understanding and the acquisition of wisdom.  It is also the biggest obstacle to truly understanding God.  Instead an impaired understanding of God has been propagated throughout history, and history’s defective and often horrific acts have been the result.

9:53 pm est


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Welcome God!

     For that is who You are.  Whether or not You choose to believe that You are God,
the One God, that of course is your divine prerogative.
     As for the reality, You are God, whether You want to be or not.  So Welcome!

Here You will find some answers to some questions You may have about Your divine nature, and the nature of Your creation.

     If you are
satisfied with your
life, your faith,your
God, you are
commanded not to
 read this.
But of course,
who am I to
 command You?

There is only God.

 God is known by
His works. 

Faith and belief comprise a very important part of our lives. A person's beliefs in many ways define who they are -- how they see themselves, what they want out of life, and more.

On this web site I'll offer a personal account of my own beliefs. I'll describe how my beliefs have changed my life in profound and exciting ways, and how I think they might change the lives of others.

I'll also be sure to provide links to my favorite sites as well as information about organizations that help strengthen or support my beliefs., or provide interesting contrast.
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